Reser’s Fine Foods to Invest $86.5 Million in Topeka Plant with Estimated Annual Impact of $90 Million
MEDIA RELEASE – Oct. 19, 2016
Contact: Jared Hitchens, Chamber, 785.234.2644
Reser’s Fine Foods, a leading manufacturer of freshly prepared foods, announced plans at tonight’s Joint Economic Development Organization meeting to break ground on a 300,000 square foot facility in the spring of 2017 for a new prepared salad plant. The company intends to invest $86.5 million and create 180 jobs through a two-phase project. Phase One will entail a $67 million capital investment in a new state-of-the-art plant. The project will bring an additional 40 jobs to the community with annual wages of approximately $25,000 plus benefits.
Currently, Reser’s has 1,100 employees at the Topeka campus, 390 of whom work in the prepared salad plant.
The new prepared salad plant will not only support the sustained growth Reser’s has experienced over the past several years, but will also position the company for future expansion. All manufacturing activities and jobs at the existing prepared salad plant will move to the new facility in January 2018.
In the past 25 years, Reser’s has built two plants and expanded both locations multiple times, built a truck shop and most recently added a large-scale, high-tech distribution center.
“Reser’s roots run deep in Topeka,” said President Mark Reser. “Our family and the company have been connected to the city for decades, and our long-standing partnership with the community has fueled the company’s growth. This new plant reinforces our continued commitment to this community today and into the future.”
Reser said the new facility is being designed to incorporate enhanced flexibility and innovations in food manufacturing to fulfill the varied demands of the marketplace.
In Phase Two, the company will make a facility investment totaling $19.5 million and create 140 new jobs. Phase Two has an anticipated completion date of fall 2019.
JEDO approved a maximum incentive total of $665,000–$329,000 for capital investment and $336,000 for job creation. The incentives are performance based and will be paid over a five-year period.
Mayor Larry Wolgast said an impact analysis study showed that the company’s investment will have a one-time $115 million benefit to the city and county. Additionally, the recurring impact is estimated at $90 million each year as long as the 180 jobs are maintained.
“Reser’s Fine Foods has been an exemplary employer in our community since its inception,” said Wolgast. “We are pleased that they have chosen to expand their presence again on the city’s east side to provide more jobs to people in our community.”
Shelly Buhler, JEDO chair and Shawnee County Commission chair, said, “Reser’s Fine Foods and other manufacturing companies can provide a gateway for employees to learn new skills and have opportunities to advance through the ranks while accruing full benefits. These new positions will allow employees to secure sustainable employment and access additional training.”
Scott Griffith, GO Topeka chair, said, “Tonight’s announcement marks yet another JEDO meeting this year in which area employers have come forward with plans for adding jobs and upgrading facilities—FHLBank Topeka, se2, Futamura USA and now Reser’s Fine Foods. We are fortunate to have these committed companies contributing to our county’s economic vitality.”